American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Baseball Cards

Joe Tinker, John Evers, and Frank Chance, autographed cards
American Tobacco Company
Joe Tinker, John Evers, and Frank
Chance, autographed cards

Color relief halftones mounted on cards, 1911
[Action poses]

Ty Cobb and Moriarity
Ty Cobb and Moriarity
LC-USZC4-6025

Cy Young and Charles Bender
Cy Young and Charles Bender

Color relief halftones, ca. 1911
Gift of Carl Sandburg, 1954
LC-USZC4-6026,6030, respectively
Prints & Photographs Division

Sweet Caporal Cigarettes,
American Tobacco Co., ca. 1909-11
Tris Speaker (1888-1959),
center fielder, Boston, American League
Color relief halftone
Prints and Photographs Division (208.5a)

A Close Play at Second
A Close Play at Second.
Chromolithograph with hand-coloring
Issued by American Tobacco Company, ca. 1911
Prints & Photographs Division
Gift of Carl Sandburg, 1954 (216.13)
[ Digital ID # bbc 1735 ]

Baseball cards first became popular in the 1880s when tobacco companies used them to stiffen small, soft cigarette packages and to promote sales. Although the cards vary in design and format, most are much smaller than today's sports trading cards.

Cigarette card collector Benjamin K. Edwards preserved in albums a collection of 2,100 baseball cards dating from 1887 to 1914, including these commemorative cards of the most memorable double-play combination in the history of baseball, Chicago Cubs infielders Joe Tinker, John Evers, and Frank Chance, and of such legendary players as Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Charles Bende, Tris (Tristram) E. Speaker, and Walter Perry Johnson..

After his death, Edward's daughter gave the albums to noted poet and Lincoln historian Carl Sandburg, who donated them to the Library in 1954.

Hassan Triple Folders
Edward Walsh/Fred Payne: Close at the plate
Edward Walsh/Fred Payne: Close at the plate

Reverse side (217A.2)
[digital ID# bbc1974]
Edgar Lennox/Jos. B. Tinker: Harry Lord at third
Edgar Lennox/Jos. B. Tinker: Harry Lord at third
Reverse side (216.12)
[digital ID# bbc2007]

Prints, relief with halftone color
Issued by American Tobacco Company, ca. 1912
Prints & Photographs Division
Gift of Carl Sandburg, 1954

Piedmont Cigarettes,
American Tobacco Co., ca. 1909-11
Walter Johnson (1887-1946),
pitcher, Washington, American League
Color relief halftone
Prints and Photographs Division (208.5b)

Wid Conroy Walter Johnson Bill Shipke Bob Groom

American Tobacco Company
[Washington Nationals]:
Wid Conroy
Walter Johnson
Bill Shipke
Bob Groom
Baseball cards, relief prints with half-tone color
Prints & Photographs Division
Gift of Carl Sandburg, 1954 (216.15a-d)
Digital ID#s bbc 1039, 1046, 1051, 1045

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